Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, has turned down a £400,000-a-week offer from a Chinese club because he is determined to join Manchester City.
That is this mornings Arsenal related news according to BBC Gossips column.
Personally, I love the BBC Gossip column. It is what I read when I have my morning poo. It collates all that mornings BS transfer rumours in one place, meaning that I none of the media outlets who make them up generate any advertising revenue from my click.
When I read the above, I had to laugh. Not because I think it is ludicrously made up, I imagine there is some truth into it. I laughed because I thought to myself Why would Manchester City want Alexis Sanchez.
Now Sanchez is a top player. In his 3 years in England, he has been amongst the best in the league. Only Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard get close to him. He would improve almost any team in the world based on past form. An individual talent capable of winning any game on his own.
But then you have this seasons form, when he has been awful.
And that is one of the two reasons why I would be surprised if he go’s to Manchester City.
The first reason is a simple one. Manchester City do not actually need Alexis Sanchez.
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Now I fully understand that in football, if you stand still you go backwards, and you should always be looking to improve your squad, but how much would Sanchez actually improve Manchester City?
Manchester City are averaging over 3 goals a game in the league at this present time. They have an array of attacking talent that is the envy of the world. And it is not just their starting attackers, it is who can come off the bench.
When a striker as class and consistently brilliant as Sergio Aguero is not guaranteed a start, you know they have quality. Competing with Aguero is 20 year old Brazilian Gabriel Jesus. A fantastic young talent.
Then you have Raheem Sterling. The boy has become a man this season and is Manchester City’s top goal scorer with 15 goals in 23 games. And quite a few of them important late winners.
Leroy Sane is another terrific young talent. It shows Manchester City’s financial strength that they could spend £37 million on a youngster for the future, give him a year to settle, and not expect him to perform from day one. Other clubs, like Arsenal, do not have the luxury.
This year Sane has kicked on from last year, and at just 21, I struggle to name too many better young wingers in the Premier League. His composure, pace and skill is going to make him a dangerous player as he continues to develop.
Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva. I do not need to say much about either. They are terrific with the technique and vision of players you used to associate with Arsenal.
Finally we have Bernardo Silva. Manchester City paid £43.5m for the Portuguese winger in the summer. He has started just 4 games in the league.
In the summer, you could see why City wanted Sanchez.
Sterling was stagnating and Sane had not yet kicked on. Sanchez was one of the best in the world. Had they signed Sanchez, the likelihood is that Sterling would have left, maybe even to Arsenal.
Football is easy in hindsight, and I bet Pep Guardiola is glad that he has Sterling over Sanchez this season.
It is not just the quality of Manchester City’s players that sets them apart from Sanchez, but the age too. Jesus is 20, Sane 21, Sterling 23. It is a high quality front line that could play and develop together for the next 8-10 years. Alexis Sanchez is 29 tomorrow. He would be a short term fix to a problem that does not need fixing.
Then we come on to Alexis Sanchez himself. He has been in poor form this year.
Has he become distracted with wanting to leave? Is he carrying an injury? Or are his powers on the wane?
I mentioned to a mate after the Newcastle game that Sanchez is clearly not the same player he was. He does not look at sharp, as explosive. When was the last time he beat a man and ran away from him?
He has lost a yard of pace. And his brain seems to have slowed down as well, which has led to his sloppy play and giving the ball away too much.
A lot of players who have relied upon their explosiveness fall off the cliff quickly. As soon as that acceleration and speed go’s, even just a little, they are no longer the same player. Has Sanchez gone over the cliff this season?
And how much has Chile failing to make the World Cup damaged him psychologically?
He has always been an emotionally driving player. With no World Cup at the end of the season, and at a club who he wanted to leave in the summer, perhaps the motivation to push himself, both in training and on the pitch, has gone. He is just going through the motions. He has nothing to play for.
Maybe he is just an unhappy employee who has been told that he must work his notice period?
Sanchez has never been much of a team player. A terrific individual talent, but selfish. And with the goals and assists drying up this season, his selfishness has been exposed.
Manchester City attack as a team. It is quick, sharp and clinical. Would Sanchez’s selfishness, his dwelling on the ball, slowing the game down, suit their one touch passing? Probably not.
The only thing in Sanchez’s favour is that he is not European cup tied for the Champions League. But with so much talent, would he actually get much game time for City in the Champions League.
I think Sanchez will leave Arsenal in January, but Manchester City is not a logical destination.